Looking for wistera flowers

All eyes in the garden, at the moment, are on my camera Nestbox to see if the blue tit will complete her nest. She is making seriously hard work of it and I will report on her progress soon.

Looking to the plants in the garden, at the moment, many gardeners will be keeping an eye on the buds of their wisterias. I was out yesterday having a look at mine. The waiting game for these flowers is as exciting as the eggs hatching in the nestbox ๐Ÿ™‚

The photo above shows how my wisteria is looking at the moment. But in other parts of the UK this growth will be ahead or behind this. I gave the stems of my wisteria a second pruning back to two sets of buds at the end of February but I do remember Alan Titchmarsh, in an article in Gardeners’ World Magazine, saying that you can still do this as late as April here in the UK. However in December you can see that the frosty stems on my wisteria shown below had been pruned back to approx four sets of buds. I give my wisteria two prunings.

Sorry, hereโ€™s me keeping an online diary and I didnโ€™t write down when I did this! Oops. I would take a guess that I did this early November. Although again going back to Alan Titchmarshโ€™s advice he suggested just one pruning in April would do. However, I do think there is a wide range of advice for successful flowering of the wisteria and I am sure it keeps changing too. It should be noted that during the summer months the long whippy growth still needs to be pruned out which I am sure all advice would give.

We just have to take a look back now to June 7th 2007 to see the rewarding flowers this plant gives. I have had my wisteria perhaps as long as 10 years now and last year it flowered its socks off. I was thrilled! You can see I was not the only one that enjoyed these flowers. What did I do? Well, I will be honest and say I was brutal with my pruning earlier in the year as I felt if it couldnโ€™t reward me with flowers it could reward my with a nice shape on my pergola.

Ohโ€ฆ and again per Alanโ€™s advice I also kept my plant watered well prior to and during flowering. I also gave it a high potash feed โ€“ but I have to confess I didnโ€™t do it regularly. We have had plenty of rain recently so I don’t plan to water it just now unless we get a dry spell. I will however start feeding it now as I am sure that will help the quality of the flowers. Too years ago I had a few very weedy looking flowers so I am guessing the watering and feeding really did make a difference to last years flowers.

So, this is all very well and good saying what I have done now when you could be looking at your plant, like I did a few years ago, wondering if the growth you are seeing is going to unfurl into a leaf (so disappointing when this happens) or into a bud that will give flowers. The photos above were taken from my wisteria last year before it flowered. I hope it will help anyone searching for photos of what a wisteria bud looks like and the stages leading up to a flower.

Finally, this year I will make sure my wisteria doesn’t get too dry and I will try to remember to feed it regularly. I don’t tend to spoil my plants but I cannot deny feeding them does help the growth and qualitity of flowers. So if you are reading this with a wisteria in your garden I wish you a wealth of wisteria flowers this year. This is an exciting plant to have in the garden and I hope you enjoy yours. However, even after following the same method as last year I will still wait with the same anticipation as I did last year waiting for the first flowers to open.

All photos shown above were taken in my garden.

19 thoughts on “Looking for wistera flowers

  1. Wisteria is so beautiful! I’ve never tried growing it. I guess I’m a little afraid of its size! It’s moot where I live now anyway, since we have so much shade I doubt I’d get much bloom. I also like wisteria in tree form. If I had enough sun, I just might try that!

  2. Hi Shirl Do you grow your wisteria up the side of the house? We have one that appeared from nowhere when we bought the house. I guess it had always been there, but disguised by weeds. The last two years it has climbed up the drain pipe. I’ve never cut it back… no idea what to do. It’s about 15 ft high now, but doesn’t flower much (as on a shady side of house) Any tips? Jane

  3. When I moved to the farmhouse the whips of a wisteria were lying on the shingle drive. It had never been pruned and looked a mess. My husband put three arches up and it now lives there quite happily. I prune mine exactly the same way that you do. I must own up and say I have never fed it, and up until now it flowers well.

    Mine is lilac wisteria….love the white, I love white flowers of any kind. Nice post.

  4. Hi there garden girl, Jane, Nancy and Cheryl ๐Ÿ™‚

    garden girl โ€“ I agree it is quite a sight to see when all the flowers are in full bloom. I can understand your worry about size but I have to say my white one is growing over my pergola which is approx 8ft high and it has not spread to 4ft wide. Also it doesnโ€™t get full sun so perhaps that means it doesnโ€™t get quite so vigorous in growth. It does look great in foliage too. I sometimes give a plant a try even when the conditions arenโ€™t perfect ๐Ÿ˜€

    Jane โ€“ No, my wisteria is growing up one side of my pergola and growing over the top a little. This is the second wisteria I have grown and the first one had purple flowers. I never saw any flowers on it but after we left that house the next owner neglected it and eventually, I understand, it was brutally pruned – then it produced flowers! I am always nervous of plants clinging to house walls but if I was to discover one 15ft high I would be very tempted to cut it back. I would look at the main stem structure of the plant. Then I would prune back to two sets of buds on every branch from the main stem/s. I would do this now. If I knew it had never flowered anyway I would see this as a risk Iโ€™d be willing to take. I would also have the opportunity in improving the shape of the plant at the same time perhaps taking whole stems out. But hey, I am ruthless with a pairs of secateurs in my hands!! I would also perhaps supply it a support to keep it off my drain pipe too. A piece of trellis would do and I would be tempted to use spacers to keep it out from my wall a little. Hope this helps ๐Ÿ˜€

    Nancy โ€“ It is, it really is. Mine is growing at one end of my pergola and as I walk through and past it I smell its beautifully scented flowers ๐Ÿ˜€

    Cheryl โ€“ As you have said the whippy stems can really be very long and can spill out into the surrounding area. I keep mine cut back so I can walk through my pergola and the paths around it. The previous year I had only a few, very pathetic looking, flowers so I am assuming that the feed helped. To be honest I do believe that making sure it doesnโ€™t dry out must be the biggest factor. But then again growing up house walls it cannot get much moisture there. I love my white scented wisteria and last year it was great to see it with bees on it. Thank-you, this post is perhaps a bit overdue ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Shirl, I love wisteria mine has started to flower, it is early this year but I live on the south coast of England. I hard prune mine to keep it within a restricted area using your pruning schedule of twice a year. Wisteria’s can be kept quite small – I have seen them grown as a standard over a frame ‘umbrella’. These were a feature of the garden and must have been 20-30 years old or more!
    Sylvia (England)

  6. Hi there Sylvia, great to hear your wisteria is in flower ๐Ÿ˜€

    Yes, I suppose you can get horror stories about many plants getting too big but most can be controlled with pruning as you say. I have had my wisteria around ten years and it isnโ€™t remotely misbehaving itself ๐Ÿ˜€

    Although I do remember a gardener once saying, with reference to coppicing plants (in particular eucalyptus), that just because you control whatโ€™s above ground the plant is still capable of growing to x height so it will produce roots to support this.

    Wisteria grown as a standard must look almost like a large bonsai. I bet it looks fantastic ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Your white wisteria is gorgeous no wonder you want to baby it a little. It would be worth it to have big lovely blooms.

  8. my garden faces north east my wisteria is on the sunnier side i guess facing east/south and has been here for at least 15 years originally planted by specialist.
    It has never flowered for last 13 and as it takes over the fence I tried to get rid of it but it never works.
    Its a good screen but as it never flowers useless for me.
    Any ideas?
    Have cut and dug it out but still it comes back – think it must have suckkers everywhere? Any poss of flowers or controlling it.
    thanks all

  9. Hi there Lisa & Anonymous ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lisa โ€“ sorry I missed this comment. Yes, these flowers really are well worth any trouble! Have a great week ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anonymous โ€“ I can completely understand your plight! If your plant was mine I would be cutting out the long new whippy growth now. I would look at the shape of your plant in early November and take charge of it rather than let it do its own thing โ€“ but I guess you have tried that. I would only keep good strong looking stems. I would prune again harder in February to two pairs of buds from the main stems. During early May I would look out for signs of flower buds โ€“ they will be near the main stems. If I see buds then (after jumping up and down for a while with a huge smile on my face) I would give it a feed when the buds are forming and make sure it doesnโ€™t dry out. Then โ€“ Iโ€™d keep my fingers crossed. If you are in England your buds will grow earlier than mine by approx two weeks. I wish you luck and please do let me know if this works for you too. Wishing you a great week and wisteria flowers next year ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Could you tell me if wisteria is a suitable plant for a northeast coastal location?I am about to move there and need to find plants which are suited to the cold and windy climate.thankyou.Margaret

  11. I just wanted to let you know how helpful this post has been for me. My wisteria appears to be the same variety as yours. It is 8 years old this year. Last year it bloomed FOR THE FIRST TIME. And when I say “it bloomed” I mean that it produced ONE FLOWER! But you would have thought that the Queen had come to stay. Of course, this year I have high hopes. It’s only March 16 here in Massachusetts and I’m already on bud watch. The first photo in your post, did those buds turn into flowers? They don’t look as rounded as other flower bud photos I have seen online, but they do look exactly like my buds. I’d be thrilled if you answer my question, but considering the date of your original post, I would be surprised. Thank you again for sharing your garden and such great information!

    1. Hello there Nancy! I am absolutely delighted that these photos have been helpful to you, really I am. ๐Ÿ˜Š I know they would have been helpful to me when I longed for my wisteria to flower, every year checking it almost dally when I discovered any signs of the new season’s growth. I completely get your thrill of seeing your first ever flower! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      In answer to your question, YES the buds in the first photo grew into the swelled rounder buds you’ll have seen online ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ except in cases where the buds are very dry and almost brittle which don’t tend to. Wishing 2022 to be a year of your wisteria bursting with glorious blooms! I truly know how thrilling this will be for you ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Thank-you for your very welcome comment too! I’ve not been blogging as regularly in the last couple of years after taking up drawing again but I do pop by every now and again when I’ve something different or new to share like just now ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘ I’m absolutely thrilled here ๐Ÿ˜Š that my garden cameras have not only picked up our wild hedgehogs using the garden feeding station again (they have done for a number of years now) but ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š one male has moved into the spacious home I’ve provided (seriously stuffed with hay) and has been seen taking mouthfuls of dry leaves in to make it even cosier! Like a wisteria flowering, this has been one sighting I’ve so hoped to see for years! ๐Ÿ˜Š it’s just absolutely brilliant to see, so very special. Enjoy your wisteria flowers ๐Ÿ˜Š

  12. No flowers this year. โ˜น๏ธ I had identified a couple of flower buds which disappeared after we had a cold snap in March. I think that the plant I bought will not bloom in our cold climate (which really piss… makes me angry. LOL!) I’m looking into a way to wrap/insulate it over the winter.

    Thanks for replying. Guess I’ll have to live vicariously through your wisteria.

    1. Hello again, Nancy ๐Ÿ˜Š aww sorry to hear that your wisteria flowering season has passed without flowers. I’m guessing you get colder temps than we do here in Scotland (it gets to just past -10 deg C here ).

      I am aware that wisterias benefit from being kept well watered so that’s an other option for your lack of flowers but top, the very top of the list is the pruning. I haven’t completed my 2nd pruning down to two sets of buds (will maybe get out and do that later) did you do the 2nd prune, maybe after a hard frost that could help too. We’ve had many hard frosts and that doesn’t see to have been a problem. Ours doesn’t flower until the beginning of June way later than yours which I always find fascinating. I’ll try to remember to post photos for you this year, maybe even a video ๐Ÿ˜Š

  13. Yea, I think my pruning is good. I did get one, yes you heard that right, one flower last year. I think the issue is WHEN the freeze happens. I had an identifiable set of flower buds the 3rd week of March. I went away for a week, during which we had a cold snap. When I got home the buds had fallen and empty husks were in their place. It’s like that up here in Boston. We can get snow in April! It’s possible that a sheet over the budding area on cold nights could have saved the day. I’ll read more, experiment more and try again next year. That’s what gardening is all about, right?

    1. Hi again Nancy, we can get snow here in April too. Yes, gardening is about experimenting that’s for sure, that’s the fun part for me. I’ll often give plants the benefit of the doubt – but in the case of the wisteria, that’s a harder one as you know.

    1. Hello again Nancy, sorry for the delay in replying, its been a busy time in the garden. Have taken a look and yes, you’ll know this yourself by now, these are very much flower buds! Congratulations, enjoy!

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